Judith Ashioya (left), a teacher at Musikoma Primary School in Bungoma County leads pupils in a reading challenge courtesy of Safaricom Foundation to mark the Day of the African Child.

Since 1991, the Day of the African Child has been celebrated globally in various ways, especially here in Africa.

And today, Safaricom Foundation partnered with Storymoja Publishers for a reading challenge to mark the day in Kenya. 

Over 200,000 leaners from schools across the country took part in the challenge, together reading a text from Attack of the Shidas, a life skills story that uses science fiction to teach ethnic tolerance to the young ones.

In June 2015, the Storymoja Read Aloud team led 229,043 children in 1,097 schools across 44 counties to set a national record and unofficially overtake the world record of most people reading the same text at the same time in multiple locations.

The current Guinness World Record for Most People Reading Aloud from the Same Text at the Same Time in Different Venues is 223,363 participants spread across 909 locations across the US.

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Safaricom Foundation supported the initiative through its literacy and numeracy programme which has been providing a steady improvement on reading skills in the counties of Bungoma, Turkana and Tana River.

Over 4,500 pupils in Grade Three to Five have benefitted from the Accelerated Learning Programme being rolled out in partnership with Zizi Afrique Foundation through literacy and numeracy camps.

The initiative seeks to shore up the learners’ basic literacy and numeracy skills within a short period of time. Each county has 40 schools participating in the programme.

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